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Publication numberUS3782716 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1974
Filing dateJun 29, 1972
Priority dateJun 29, 1972
Publication numberUS 3782716 A, US 3782716A, US-A-3782716, US3782716 A, US3782716A
InventorsCampbell S, Long T, Miller W
Original AssigneeDigi Data Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for selecting data cards
US 3782716 A
Abstract
A device for selecting data cards comprising a table means movably mounted beneath a hopper means containing a stack of cards, means operatively associated with said table means for moving at least a portion of the bottom card in said stack of cards downwardly onto said table means and holding said card on said table means as said table means is moved into operative association with means for engaging said card and withdrawing the card from said table means, said means for moving said card being controlled in cooperation with movement of said table means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Long et al. 1 Jan. 1, 1974 [54] DEVICE FOR SELECTING DATA CARDS |,o65,937 4/1928 Smith 27l/44 A $086,770 4/1963 Richer! 271/27 Inventors: Thomas R. Long, Melbourne;

Warren H. Miller, Jr., Palm Bay; Scott V. Campbell, Melbourne, all of Fla.

Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant ExaminerJames W. Miller AtromeyLuke A. Mattare et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A device for selecting data cards comprising a table means movably mounted beneath a hopper means containing a stack of cards, means operatively associated with said table means for moving at least a portion of the bottom card in said stack of cards downwardly onto said table means and holding said card on said table means as said table means is moved into operative association with means for engaging said card and withdrawing the card from said table means, said means for moving said card being controlled in cooperation with movement of said table means.

7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures DEVICE FOR SELECTING DATA CARDS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a-device for selecting data cards which is simple in construction and is fast and reliable in operation.

Devices for selecting data cards are knownin the prior art, but such devices generally are either of complicated construction or are not quick or reliable in operation. In some such devices, a mechanical pick means is constructed to engage and move the bottom most cardin a stack of cards transversely to the stack of cards to a position for a'subsequent operation to be performed on the card. In these devices the pick mechanism is complicated andexpensive in construction, and due to the complexity of the pick mechanism, the speed with which cards may be selected from a stack of data cards is-limited. Further, such devices are not reliable in operation since there is a'possibility of more than one card being moved from the stack of cards si multaneously by the pick mechanism. Other prior art devices utilize a vacuum means for pulling the bottom most card of a stack of cards downwardly and then engage the card and move it transversely of the stack of cards with a pick mechanism. Such devices, although increasing the reliability of operation are relatively slow and expensive. Moreover, in such devices, the vacuum means isoperatdindependently of movement of the pick mechanism andaccordingly, a large amount of energy is wasted in the operation of the device.

The present invention provides a device for selecting data cards, wherein a stack of data cards are held in a hopper means with the stack of data cards supported on a movable table beneath the hopper means. A vacuum means is associated with the table means for applying a vacuum to the bottom most card in said stack of cards for drawing the opposite end portions of the bottom most card downwardly onto said table means in response to a suitable control signal which may be a manual switch ora programmed control or the like. When the bottom most card is pulled downwardly onto the table by the vacuum means, the vacuum rises sharply and this rise in vacuum is sensed by a suitable means which then energizes a table motor to move the table transversely of the hopper means and thus move the bottom most card held thereon transversely to the longitudinal axis of the table means to bring the bottom most card into operative engagement with a pick means. The pick means then engages the card and feeds it from the table means to another location for a subsequent operation to be performed thereon; and when the card is removed from the table means, a suitable sensing means senses the presence of the card and deenergizes the table motor to return the table to its initial position. The apparatus then simply remains in this initial or rest position until another signal is given to the vacuum means and the sequence of operation is then repeated. The operation of the vacuum means in synchronism with movement of the table insures maximum conservation of energy in the operation of the apparatus, and an obstruction means on the hopper means at one side thereof engages the stack of cards for obstructing movement of any card except the bottom most card pulled downwardly onto said table means to insure that only one card is removed from the stack of cards at a time.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION An object of the invention is, accordingly, to provide an apparatus for selecting data cards which is simple in construction and which is fast and reliable in operation and wherein a vacuum means is utilized to pull the bottommost card of a stack of cards downwardly onto a table means, said table means moving transversely to its longitudinal axis to a position where a pick means engages the card and removes the card from the table, movement of the table means being controlled in synchronization with application of the vacuum to the bottommost card, and return of the table means being controlled in response to a signal given as a result of the presence of the card at a location removed from the table, the operation of the vacuum means in synchronism with movement of the table ensuring maximum conservation of energy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a device for selectingdata cards according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1, with parts thereof removed, and showing the table means and a portion of the means for operating the table means and showing the ports for communicating the vacuum from the vacuum means to the bottom most card.

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of a portion of the device for selecting data cards shown in FIG. 1 with the table in one operative position with the bottom most card in operative engagement with the pick means.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top perspective view similar to FIG. 2, shown partly in section and with parts removed, of the device for selecting data cards and a portion of the control means for the vacuum means thereof.

FIG. 5 is a side view in section of the hopper means and stack of cards with the device at rest or in a quiescent state.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 with a vacuum being applied to the vacuum means to pull the opposite end portions of the bottom most card downwardly onto the table.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 with the vacuum means applied and the bottom most card held downwardly in engagement with the table means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, a device for selecting data cards is indicated generally at l in FIG. 1 and comprises a hopper 2 having a plurality of upstanding fingers or posts 3 positioned about three sides thereof for holding a stack of cards C in assembled relationship therewithin. The hopper includes an upstanding elongate front wall 4 along one side thereof. The bottom edge of the wall or card obstructing means 4 includes a straight portion 5 substantially in the plane of the bottom card in said stack of cards and angularly downwardly inclined end portions 6 and 7 adjacent the opposite ends of the front wall 4.

A movable table 8 is slidably mounted beneath the hopper 2 and includes a substantially flat planar middle portion 9 upon which the stack of cards C normally rests and opposite downwardly inclined sloping end portions 10 and 11 having the same angle of inclination as the sloping end portions 6 and 7 of edge of the front wall 4. The mid-portion 9 of table 8 is substantially communsurate in length with the bottom edge portion 5 of wall 4.

A table solenoid or other suitable power means 12 is operatively connected with the table 8 for reciprocating the table in a direction transverse to its longitudinal axis. A pair of transversely extending vacuum plenum chambers 13 and 14 are mounted to the table beneath the inclined end portions and 11 thereof and a plurality of vacuum ports 15 and 16 are formed in the inclined portions 10 and 11 of table 8 establishing communication with the vacuum plenum chambers 13 and 14.

A suitable vacuum pump 17 is mounted beneath the table and is in communication with the vacuum plenum chambers 13 and 14 through suitable flexible conduit means 18 and 19. The vacuum pump is operated by any suitable means such as solenoid 20 controlled from a suitable control means 21, such as a manual switch or a programmed control or the like, or the pump may be operated by other suitable means such as a gear drive or linkage arrangement operatively connected to be actuated in synchronism with movement of the table.

A cylindrical, elongate pick means 22 is rotatably mounted adjacent front wall 4 immediately above the bottom edge 5 of the front wall and is connected to be continuously driven during operation of the device through a pulley and belt arrangement 23 or other suitable means, by a suitable motor 24. A pair of pressure rollers 25 and 26 are rotatably supported on a stationary frame means, not shown, and are resiliently urged into engagement with the bottom of pick means or cylinder 22 adjacent the opposite ends thereof, and these rollers are caused to rotate in the opposite direction to pick means 22 when the pick means is rotated by the motor 24.

As seen in FIG.- 2, the flat portion 9 of table 8 has a pair of slots or recesses 27 and 28 therein adapted to register with the pressure rollers 25 and 26 when the table is reciprocated from beneath hopper 2 in order that the pressure rollers 25 and 26 may engage a card held on the table and press it against the pick means 22. The table need only move approximately one half the diameter of cylinder 22 in order to position the card between the pick cylinder 22 and the pressure rollers 25 and 26, and accordingly, the speed with which the device may be operated is significantly greater than prior art devices. It is, therefore, desirable to minimize the diameter of 22.

A shaft 29 extends from the table solenoid 12 and is connected to a depending lug or bracket 30 connected with the underside of flat portion 9 of the table 8 for reciprocating the table when the solenoid is energized. Any other suitable means such as a hydraulic means or the like may be used to reciprocate the table rather than the solenoid 12, if desired.

The device for selecting data cards is shown in FIG. 3 in one of its operative positions with the table 8 reciprocated in a transverse direction from beneath the hopper 2 with its leading edge extending between the pick means 22 and the pressure rollers 25 and 26 with the pressure rollers 25 and 26 received in the slots 27 and 28 in the leading edge of the table 8. As seen in this figure, the bottom most card C, in the stack of cards C has been pulled down onto the table 8 with the opposite end portions of the card deflected downwardly over the inclined end portions 10 and 11 by means of vacuum applied from the vacuum means 17 through conduits 18 and 19 to the vacuum plenum chambers 13 and 14, and as the table is reciprocated from beneath the hopper 2, the card C is carried therealong into a position between the pick means 22 and pressure rollers 25 and 26, which then feed the card C transversely away from the table 8.

Movement of the table 8 is controlled in synchronization with operation of the vacuum means 17 by means of a suitable control arrangement including a vacuum switch 31 connected with the conduit means 18. The vacuum switch 31 could equally as well be connected with either one of the plenum chambers or with the other conduit means 19. The vacuum switch 31 is connected with a control switch mechanism 32 through a pair of leads or lines 33 and 34. The switch control mechanism 32 is suitably connected with the table motor means 12 through a pair of lines 35 and 36; and when the vacuum means 17 is operated through the control of control means 21 to pull the bottommost card C downwardly onto the table, the vacuum in the plenum chambers and conduits l8 and 19 rises sharply, and this rise in vacuum is sensed by the vacuum switch 31 which sends a signal to the switch control mechanism 32 to energize motor 12 to move the table 8 transversely toward the pick means 22.

As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, when the bottommost card C is moved transversely away from the table by means of the pick means 22, the leading edge thereof comes into operative relationship with a suitable sensing device such as a photocell mechanism 37 which senses the presence of the card and through a pair of lines 38 and 39 sends a signal to the switch control mechanism 32 to de-energize the table motor 12 and return the table 8 to its original rest position. The table then remains in its rest position beneath the hopper 2 until a further signal is given to the vacuum means 17 from the control means 21.

The vacuum means or pump 17 is seen in FIG. 4 as comprising a housing 40 within which a diaphragm 41 or the like is mounted. Any other suitable means such as a piston or bellows or the like may be used if desired. The diaphragm 40 is connected by means of a relatively short actuating shaft 42 to the solenoid 20, and upon enerization of the solenoid 20 by control means 21, the shaft 42 is pulled downwardly thus pulling the flexible diaphragm 41 downwardly to apply a vacuum through conduits l8 and 19 to the vacuum plenum chambers 13 and 14, and this vacuum is held during movement of the table to the position shown in FIG. 3 at which time movement of the card from the table releases the vacuum and the control means returns the diaphragm to its original position to reset the vacuum means or motor 17.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate schematically the operation of the vacuum on the bottommost card C, in the stack of cards C.

In FIG. 5, the data card selecting device is shown at rest with no vacuum being applied to the vacuum plethe bottommost card C are being pulled downwardly onto the sloping end portions and 11 of table 8.

In FIG. 7, the vacuum has been applied and is being held to maintain the opposite end portions of the bottommost card C in flat abutting contact with the opposite end portions 10 and 11 of table 8. In the position shown in FIG. 7, the card and table are ready to be reciprocated transversely of the hopper for positioning the card between the cylindrical pick means 22 and the pressure rollers 25 and 26 at which time the vacuum is released and the card is removed from the table by the pick means as previously described.

Because of the unique vacuum means, pick means, and transversely reciprocating table means, only a relatively short movement of the table is required in order to bring the cards into operative relationship with the pick means and pressure rollers. Accordingly, very rapid and reliable operation of the data card selecting device is realized.

As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive, since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims rather than by the description preceding them, and all changes that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims or that form their functional as well as conjointly cooperative equivalents, are therefore intended to be embraced by those claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A device for selecting data cards and the like, comprising a hopper means for containing a stack of data cards therein, a table means movably supported beneath the hopper means for reciprocable movement laterally of the hopper means from beneath one side of the hopper means, means connected with the table means to reciprocate the table means, said table means comprising a bottom for said hopper means and having a substantially flat, planar midportion on which the stack of cards is supported and opposite, downwardly inclined end portions spaced below opposite end portions of a bottom most card in said stack of cards, vacuum plenum chamber means carried by said table means beneath said downwardly inclined end portions thereof, said downwardly inclined end portions having aperture means therethrough establishing communication between said vacuum plenum chamber means and the space between said downwardly inclined end portions of said table means and the opposite end portions of said bottom most card so that establishment of a vacuum in said vacuum plenum chamber means is communicated to said space to draw opposite end portions of said bottom'most card downwardly onto said inclined end portions of said table means, card obstructing means on said hopper means at said one side thereof to normally obstruct lateral movement of the cards in said stack of cards when said table is reciprocated, said card obstructing means having a bottom edge spaced upwardly from the table means a distance at least as great as the thickness of a card in said stack of cards and shaped complementary to the shape of the table means so that only the bottom most card is enabled to clear said obstructing means and move laterally from beneath said hopper means along with said table means when the opposite end portions of said bottom most card are pulled downwardly onto the inclined end portions of said table means by said vacuum, and pick means adjacent said hopper means to engage said bottom most card when it is moved from beneath said table means and withdraw the bottom most card from said table means.

2. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 1, wherein a vacuum pump is connected with said vacuum plenum chamber means.

3. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 2, wherein said vacuum pump is solenoid operated, energization of said solenoid being synchronized with movement of said table means.

4. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 3, wherein said vacuum pump comprises a diaphragm mounted in a cylinder, said solenoid being connected to said diaphragm to cause reciprocation thereof.

5. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 4, wherein vacuum control means is connected with said vacuum pump to cause said vacuum pump to create a vacuum in said vacuum plenum chamber means prior to and during movement of said table means toward said pick means, said control means comprising vacuum switch means operatively connected with said vacuum plenum chamber means to sense application of said vacuum and connected with motor means for moving said table means to control operation of said motor means in response to application of said vacuum, means for releasing the vacuum when the table means reaches a position wherein the card held thereon is engaged by said pick means, and control means for sensing movement of said card from said table means to deenergize said motor means and return said table means to its position beneath said hopper means.

6. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 1, wherein said obstructing means comprises a vertical wall along said one side of said hopper means, the bottom edge of said wall including a generally straight horizontally extending portion spaced slightly above the plane of said table means and downwardly inclined opposite end portions extending parallel to and spaced slightly above the inclined end portions of said table means, said downwardly inclined end portions of said wall defining said obstructing means for preventing transverse movement of said cards.

7. A device for selecting data cards as in claim 6, wherein said pick means comprises a horizontal cylinder rotatably mounted above the plane of said table means parallel with said wall, the bottom of said cylinder being substantially in the plane of the bottom edge of said wall, pressure roller means resiliently engaged against the bottom of said cylinder, recess means in the leading edge of said table means in alignment with the pressure roller means so that when the table means is moved laterally to a position with its leading edge between said cylinder and said pressure roller means the pressure roller means extend through said recess means to urge a card held on said table means against said cylinder, and means to rotate said cylinder to feed said card from said table means.

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Referenced by
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US4411417 *Nov 2, 1981Oct 25, 1983Xerox CorporationBottom sheet feeding apparatus
US4627606 *Dec 13, 1984Dec 9, 1986Xerox CorporationBottom sheet feeding apparatus employing a combination slide plate and vacuum valve
US4747005 *Apr 5, 1985May 24, 1988Kabushiki Kaisha GraphicoAutomatic disc separating and feeding apparatus for disc copying machine
US5050853 *Mar 27, 1990Sep 24, 1991Oce-Nederland B.V.Device for discharging sheets from the bottom of a stack
US6053492 *Mar 3, 1997Apr 25, 2000Newsome; John R.Apparatus for sequentially feeding cards to inserter in a magazine binding line
US6145829 *Sep 12, 1997Nov 14, 2000Phillip Morris IncorporatedProcess and device for selecting a single stacked flat object from a stack and use in packaging of cigarettes
US6742779 *Feb 28, 2001Jun 1, 2004Drs Digitale Repro Systeme GmbhAutomatic document transport method and device using suction to retain unfed documents during feeding
CN1076001C *Apr 10, 1996Dec 12, 2001菲利普莫里斯生产公司Device for separating laminate and its use for packing cigarette
CN1081590C *Oct 8, 1997Mar 27, 2002菲利普莫里斯生产公司Method and apparatus for single separating sheet materials and its use in cigarette packaging
CN100526184CSep 30, 2007Aug 12, 2009北京万源多贝克包装印刷机械有限公司Vacuum adsorption type paper feeding method and device
DE19510791C2 *Mar 24, 1995Sep 18, 2003Ascom Autelca Ag GuemligenVorrichtung zum Abgeben eines blattartigen Objekts aus einem Stapel
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DE19641605C2 *Oct 9, 1996Nov 26, 1998Tabac Fab Reunies SaVerfahren und Vorrichtung zur Vereinzelung gestapelter Flächengebilde, insbesondere von Papierzuschnitten bei der Verpackung von Zigaretten
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EP0835833A2 *Oct 9, 1997Apr 15, 1998Fabriques De Tabac Reunies S.A.Method and device for separating stacked flat products and use of the device in the packaging of cigarettes
EP0910038A2 *Aug 14, 1992Apr 21, 1999Datacard CorporationModular card processing system
EP1306799A2 *Aug 14, 1992May 2, 2003Datacard CorporationModular card processing system
WO2002028754A1 *Oct 2, 2001Apr 11, 2002Rue De Int LtdDocument feed assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/99, 271/103, 271/108
International ClassificationB65H3/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65H3/122
European ClassificationB65H3/12B